Unfortunately for me my back injury flared up again in October so that has kept me off the water since the middle of October but last weekend was the last round of this years Irish National Speedsailing Championships. We watched the forecast all week and Dungarven was the only location showing a decent forecast of winds gusting up to 35 knots, but only for Saturday so the call was made to run this round as a 1 day event and the call went out to meet at the usual spot by the church at Dungarven.
As money is tight for me i couldn't afford to pay for accommodation so i decided to drive over from Kerry on Saturday morning, planning to leave at 5am to get there in plenty of time for the briefing but when i went out to start my van, it wouldn't start so not really the best start of the day for me. After waiting for a couple of hours for the AA, they got the van started for me and i eventually got underway at 7am. Arriving at Dungarven around 10.30am i was disappointed to again see little to no wind when it was howling elsewhere. Never the less i decided to get my Mistral Screamer 95 ready (which is currently my biggest board until my 2012 Mistral's arrive) with a 36cm Vector Maui Fins SL9 Alfa Fin & Starboard iSonic W53 Speed Special with 25cm Vector Maui Fins Delta Speed Fin and rigged my 6.4m, 7.3m & 8.3m KA Koncepts so i was ready if the wind picked up.
Just after mid day the first signs appeared that the wind was picking up and with most people planing on 7-8m sails in the gusts the call was made to measure the event on a 10 second average of your 5 best 10 second runs because of the gusty conditions, so i got into my wetsuit and grabbed my Mistral Screamer 95 and 7.3m KA Koncept and hit the water. I became apparent very quickly that it was very gusty with massive holes in the wind and i was struggling to get going. I was also suffering with my back so made the decision not to use my 8.3m in case i hurt it further. I got a few runs in, but nothing special as i was underpowered so i asked one of my friends, Brian Doyle if i could borrow his iSonic 111 so i had a bit of float to help me get going in the lulls and put my 42cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin into it and went back out with my 7.3m KA Koncept. Before i got my deal with Mistral my own iSonic 111 was my go to board in conditions just like this and i found no problem at all getting it going with the extra volume as the lulls were so big but my back was really hurting now but i still managed to get in enough runs to get a result which i was happy with as i could hardly move my back.
Unfortunately i only managed to finish 8th overall and 5th Master but considering i went against my physios orders to compete as i had to do so to get a result otherwise i would have dropped down the rankings, i am still in 4th position overall with just the 2 GPS rounds left to run until the end of the year so i am hoping that my physio can work her magic and get my back sorted so i can get another Speedsailing session in before the end of the year. For me this year my back has hampered me competing and also kept me off the water at times which has annoyed me so i am hoping once and for all i can get it fixed.